The APOBEC3 deoxycytidine deaminase family functions as host restriction factors that can block replication of Vif (virus infectivity factor) deficient HIV-1 virions to differing degrees by deaminating cytosines to uracils in single-stranded (−)HIV-1 DNA. Upon replication of the (−)DNA to (+)DNA, the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase incorporates adenines opposite the uracils, thereby inducing C/G→T/A mutations that can functionally inactivate HIV-1. Although both APOBEC3F and APOBEC3G are expressed in cell types HIV-1 infects and are suppressed by Vif, there has been no prior biochemical analysis of APOBEC3F, in contrast to APOBEC3G. Using synthetic DNA substrates, we characterized APOBEC3F and found that similar to APOBEC3G; it is a processive enzyme and can deaminate at least two cytosines in a single enzyme-substrate encounter. However, APOBEC3F scanning movement is distinct from APOBEC3G, and relies on jumping rather than both jumping and sliding. APOBEC3F jumping movements were also different from APOBEC3G. The lack of sliding movement from APOBEC3F is due to an 190NPM192 motif, since insertion of this motif into APOBEC3G decreases its sliding movements. The APOBEC3G NPM mutant induced significantly less mutations in comparison to wild-type APOBEC3G in an in vitro model HIV-1 replication assay and single-cycle infectivity assay, indicating that differences in DNA scanning were relevant to restriction of HIV-1. Conversely, mutation of the APOBEC3F 191Pro to 191Gly enables APOBEC3F sliding movements to occur. Although APOBEC3F 190NGM192 could slide, the enzyme did not induce more mutagenesis than wild-type APOBEC3F, demonstrating that the unique jumping mechanism of APOBEC3F abrogates the influence of sliding on mutagenesis. Overall, we demonstrate key differences in the impact of APOBEC3F- and APOBEC3G-induced mutagenesis on HIV-1 that supports a model in which both the processive DNA scanning mechanism and preferred deamination motif (APOBEC3F, 5′TTC; APOBEC3G 5′CCC) influences the mutagenic and gene inactivation potential of an APOBEC3 enzyme.